Water alert lifted for Goose Creek State Park

Published 12:43 am Friday, August 31, 2012

A water quality swimming alert issued for Goose Creek State Park Wednesday has been lifted.
The alert was issued after the bacteria level of an Aug. 28 water sample exceeded the maximum standard for the site of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water for a high usage site. Tuesday’s sample had 150 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, the alert said.
A second water sample was tested Wednesday afternoon. Thursday’s results of that test sample found bacteria levels that were less than 10 enterococci per 100 milliliters.
Enterococcus, the organism used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness itself, scientific studies indicate that its presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.
This was the first alert state officials have issued for Goose Creek this summer, said Erin Bryan-Millush, an environmental specialist with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Had Thursday’s results exceeded the maximum standard, state officials would have posted a swimming advisory sign and issued a swimming advisory.
State officials sample 240 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when the waters are colder.
To find out more about North Carolina’s beach water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.